BWW Review: Kristin Chenoweth Enchants at BYU
Emmy and Tony-winning star of stage and screen Kristin Chenoweth made an emotional and entertaining Brigham Young University debut on Friday and Saturday, May 19 and 20, 2017. The concert was presented in BYU's de Jong Concert Hall as part of its BRAVO! professional performing arts series.
Chenoweth is beloved by many the world over for her distinctive personality and flair, in addition to her uniquely beautiful singing voice, incomparable in its versatility. She brought all this and more to the reviewed performance on Saturday evening.
Accompanied on piano by her music director, Mary-Mitchell Campbell, the inimitable Chenoweth regaled the audience with enchanting music both well known ("Bring Him Home" from LES MISERABLES) and obscure (a lovely Jason Robert Brown tune written for the winner of an auction). The eclectic mix of songs highlighted the ease with which she can move from legit opera to power belt to character comedy. This was no better represented than by her hallmark opener "Should I Be Sweet" from TAKE A CHANCE.
In addition to fan-favorite songs such as "Taylor, the Latte Boy" and WICKED's "Popular," additional highlights included the delightful "I'm Not a Diva" from the upcoming Stiles and Drewe musical SOAPDISH, a striking duet with Campbell on "The Heart of the Matter," and the rousing Christian anthem "Upon This Rock" (which received a standing ovation).
Just as appreciated as her marvelous vocals were her conversational storytelling, witty banter, and willingness to open her heart and share with the audience. She was in no rush to speed through her set list and really took the time between songs to bond with the audience. It was a joy for them to discover the non-musical side of her in person, as she is arguably as well known for her memorable television and movie appearances as her theatre work. Chenoweth seemed genuinely grateful to be at BYU and appreciative of Utah's focus on faith and the arts. So much so that she will return to BYU this October to headline the 2017 Homecoming Spectacular.
For more information about future BRAVO! performances at BYU (including an exciting upcoming season that features Renee Elise Goldsberry, Jason Robert Brown, Kelli O'Hara, Alan Menken, and Robert Fairchild), and to buy tickets, visit arts.byu.edu.
Photo Credit: Kristin Chenoweth